Peaceful Forest, as it looked in 2000.
We moved to our Peaceful Forest Homestead in 1999. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of State forest. Within walking distance is the Ludlow Creek and the Finger Lakes Trail, which is literally in my backyard. I had chosen the name for it long before we found it. I knew what we were looking for, just didn't know where it would be. Originally it was a farm, back in 1850, when it was first built. Then it became a hunting camp, and that was what it was when we found it.
We had to clear the land so we could bring our horses home. We had bought two of them and they were at the farm where we were working at the time. I couldn't wait to get them home so we could care for them ourselves. My husband was training horses at the farm and I was working to pay for the horse I was buying, Georgie Girl.
On May 13, 2000, we brought our two Thoroughbred horses, Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow here. Then on May 19th, we had a tornado come through our forest here, and took down over 100 trees. Some right in our paddock where our two horses were with their fly masks on. Larry and I had been putting our clothesline up, when it looked like a storm was coming, we went inside to eat, and within 4 minutes, our whole property was a mess!
We did not know what to do. All we could think about was our two horses out there and we could not do anything to help them. We saw them run to the other end of the paddock and then we could not see them anymore. Both of us were devastated. We thought they were dead or hurt with huge trees laying over them or something like that. In fact, when it first started, Larry ran outside, but didn't know what to do! I had just gone through tornado training at the nursing home I was working at and KNEW we should have gone into our cellar. And especially NOT stand in front of the sliding glass door watching the paddock!! That was REALLY the last thing you should do!!! Do not stand in front of any window let alone a sliding glass door one!
When it was over, we walked out our door, and what did we see? Our two horses standing there looking around like, “What happened?” They survived and that is all that mattered.
Georgie Girl & Dark Shadow survived!
We never did know if either horse was hit by a tree or a branch. They had no marks on them.Them being Thoroughbreds, means they are highly spirited animals anyway. And this storm was something they never had to deal with before. They had come from a farm where they were always nice and safe inside a barn every day. We didn't even have a barn up yet. I have learned since, that it was a good thing they were outside. It is better that they can run and get out of the way of something. Rather than being locked up and nowhere to go, or anyway to save themselves. Animals have good instincts.
Nikita says, "what happened?"
Nikita looked over the destruction. Wonder what she was thinking? Of course, while this was going on she was in the house, nice and safe, sleeping. She had no idea we were so frantic!
Nikita checks the damage out for herself.
The horses are the only ones who lived through the fear that we did. To this day, Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow are very apprehensive when the wind blows a little too hard. Very understandable, as horses do not forget. Tawny, our little red pony, wasn't here then so she missed out on that adventure. She probably wonders why Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow act so weird when there is storm.
Trees fell on our house!
We lost no power since we were generating our own. Our refrigeration at the time was with gas, so no loss of that. Our water is with a outside pitcher pump from a hand dug well, so no loss there. We were watching movies that night on our television while most of the people in the area were without power for more than a week. Our house was so well built that the trees on the house did not effect it at all.
Georgie Girl & Dark Shadow in 2000
All that matters is that we survived it and so did our little girls. I hope we never have another one. Our horses feel the same way!
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole